India, China to resume military exercises

Sept. 5, 2012 at 7:47 AM
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NEW DELHI, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- India and China agreed to resume their joint military exercises after a hiatus of four years as relations between the Asian nuclear giants improve.

The decision was reached Tuesday during the New Delhi visit of Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie and his large delegation.

The two sides also discussed many issues including their Himalayan border dispute and the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The report said Liang also met with his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony, to building trust between two of the largest countries in the world.

"We had a very frank and heart-to-heart discussion on all the issues," Anthony was quoted as saying. "We have discussed how to improve our relations in all spheres including the border areas. The Chinese defense minister has invited me to visit China. I have accepted the invitation for sometime next year."

The two countries fought a brief border war in 1962 but since then relations have steadily improved although their border issues remain unresolved and new tensions have risen, especially those relating to China's close relations with Pakistan, India's traditional adversary. But India-China trade also has boomed in recent years.

Other irritants in India-China relations include the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has been living in India since the failed Tibetan rebellion in 1959 and whom China has accused of encouraging Tibetan independence.

"We reached an agreement and consensus on exchange and cooperation between the two militaries in various fields, including the exchange of high level visits, the exchange of young officers and personnel training, and also intercollegiate exchanges in non-traditional security fields such as maritime security cooperation," General Liang said.

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